Message from Helmut Zarbl, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute:
It is my great pleasure to announce that Dr. Nancy Fiedler has agreed to serve as the Deputy Director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) effective immediately. Dr. Fiedler brings a wealth of research and administrative experience to this position. She obtained a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University, completing her internship in the Department of Psychiatry of the Rutgers Medical School in 1980. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Community Psychology at St. Clare’s Hospital Community Mental Health Center in 1981 and joined the Department of Environmental and Community Medicine at Rutgers Medical School in 1982. Dr. Fiedler has been a member of EOHSI since its inception. Since then, she has served in numerous leadership roles and made significant contributions to research missions of both the Institute and the NIEHS funded Center for Environmental Exposures and Disease. Dr. Fiedler has also contributed to teaching of environmental and occupational health at RWJ Medical School and the School of Public Health. She is currently Director for the EOHSI Exposure Science and Epidemiology Division, and has served as Chair for the Piscataway/New Brunswick Institutional Review Board of RBHS since 2010.
Through interdisciplinary collaborations, her research investigates the human health effects of neurotoxicants. As the PI of grants funded by NIOSH, DOD, and NIEHS her research has focused on interactions between complex environmental exposure (e.g., volatile organic compounds) and psychosocial factors (e.g., stress, sex) on symptoms and neurobehavioral function. Identifying demographic, genotypic, or psychosocial environmental factors that mediate human subject responses to xenobiotic exposures is central to her work and could not be possible without collaborations that EOHSI has fostered. Dr. Fiedler’s interdisciplinary projects have taken advantage of the resources provided through EOHSI that include state-of-the-art laboratory for assessment of exposure biomarkers and biological response indicators. biomarkers of exposure and health effects, a controlled human exposure facility to conduct human exposure studies with precise control of chemical exposures, and the Integrated Health Sciences core to provide consultation on study design, evaluation of prospective subjects, and preparation of institutional review board submissions.
With Fogarty grants funded through the NIEHS since 2010, Dr. Fiedler has pioneered global environmental health research by the University. She is currently leading an NIEHS funded birth cohort study in Thailand to investigate the effects of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticide exposure during each trimester of pregnancy, with the goal of defining critical windows of vulnerability that contribute to neurodevelopmental deficits. This unique project applies infant measures of attention, memory, emotion regulation, and inhibitory control to understand how prenatal neurotoxic insecticides affect the neurodevelopmental trajectory in this vulnerable population.
Please join me in welcoming Nancy to this important leadership position as we all work together to rebuild and revitalize the Institute’s mission of improving environmental and occupational health research and training at the state, national and international levels.